This commment is unpublished.· 7 years agoSad, i also had read that wounded soldiers are "stripped" of all weapons and ammo, knives ect prior to being loaded (I understand removing big bulky items that will hinder exam and treatment) but searching pockets for spare ammo and threats from lawyers about violating the convention if you have a bayonette or spare mag in a cargo pocket.
any truth to that?
Michael's Dispatches70 Comments
- Published: Friday, 20 January 2012 02:35
20 January 2012
What do you think of Lieutenant General John F. Campbell's remarks in this video?
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This commment is unpublished.· 7 years agoputting it nicely he is WRONG.
This commment is unpublished.· 7 years agoUnbelievable! How can anyone watch that and then say it wouldn't make a difference?
Reminds me of the BS going on with the Left in our current election/politics right now: Truth staring you in the face, and yet utter denial!
This commment is unpublished.· 7 years agoAgreed, he's wrong, deadly wrong. What "logic" is there in this when all the other services including foreign have taken them off (red crosses). It makes them a target. Easy prey as it were. There are recorded occurrences of choppers being flown in when told not to to rescue troops. Anger and disappointment don't describe how it makes me feel. It makes it hard to believe the "In a heartbeat" statement. It comes across as BS.
This commment is unpublished.· 7 years agoI'd say that the argument was weak and really showed no valid reason to not make a change to remove the red cross and allow the birds to have their own defense mechanism on board to make them more efficient and able to reach our wounded warriors giving their lives at war for us Americans!! The Lt. General's reasons showed no real rationale or sound logic not to improve this obvious flaw in the system.
This commment is unpublished.· 7 years agoThe good news is that lots of guys out there have been soldiers and know what BS this is. The bad news is that lots of REMFs have been in the service too and might buy this stinky BS because it came from an officer above O6.
This commment is unpublished.· 7 years agoI think that he is trying to blow smoke and keep the focus off from their mistake that cost a life. He admitted he lost 235 soldiers...WHY did he lose them? HMMM must be Medivac.
Work with the USAF CSAR crews and Know that they can handle this. Balony about the weapons and less Wounded can be carried. Look at the real hard facts.
This commment is unpublished.· 7 years agoI am so glad Michael brought this story to light. Apparently only one branch of service does not arm their medivac helicopters. All branches should do the same. This is a very sad story. Hats off to Michael for his initial report.
This commment is unpublished.· 7 years agoJust a point of recognition, the Army is the only service that performs MEDEVAC. The other services perform CASEVEC, which means there is possibly no actual medic on board the aircraft. The Air Force performs Combat Search and Rescue which by doctrine can necessitate a 90 minute window prior to launch. Adding weapons to a MEDEVAC aircraft does add weight and another crewmember which means one less patient that could be carried on that aircraft. As a MEDEVAC pilot I do feel something needs to be done but I can't sit here and say that putting a gun on the side of the aircraft will solve the issue. Those door guns will become useless once the bird is on the ground and the medic is out of the aircraft. Also the newest versions of medical evacuation aircraft do not even have the hard points to mount the guns. Believe me I feel for every man, women and yes even child that I have carried in the back of my aircraft and I wish I had the answer. Hopefully the attention that Mr. Yon has brought to the situation will bring a positive change.
This commment is unpublished.· 7 years agoCompletely unmentioned by the general or in the rest of the piece was that Marine and Air Force medevac birds are armed. Curious.
This commment is unpublished.· 7 years agoHad to watch it on youtubehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbASVr8HAxY
I think it was a good start... it sure makes Campbell look stupid... how much effort would it take to remove the cross? Even if you didn't arm the Helo... at least that giant target would be gone.
They need to get tougher... Ask the harder questions... "Why is the US Army the only ones still putting a red cross on their medevac?" "Why aren't the other military divisions and other countries using the red cross?" "Will Army pilots land and subject themselves to searches when the enemy directs them to? That is part of the Geneva Convention also." "Is having the red cross on the helo worth an 8% loss? What if you could have a 4% loss by removing the cross? Why haven't you done a study with half of the medevac armed and no red cross so you can have real stats instead of a guess-timate?"
Hammer those points home.This commment is unpublished.· 7 years agoWhy does this guy sound familiar? Wait, doesn't he sound like that windbag that worked for Saddam Hussein!
More seriously, it is disturbing that these people fail to realize that the more firmly they bunker themselves into an indefensible position, the more damaging it will be when their position is overrun. Don;t they teach things like that in West Point?This commment is unpublished.· 7 years agoThe general's a disgrace and his superiors should be stripped of command. Forget about red crosses or arms, when you state plainly that it makes no difference whether you spend ten minutes or thirty minutes going to the hospital-either way is just as good, you're insane, you're unfit for duty.This commment is unpublished.· 7 years agoTher was no mention of the fact Air Force & Marines go armed without Red Cross markings. Was this an oversight or on purpose.
This commment is unpublished.· 7 years agoThis is just more of the same BS that has been flying around ever since Michael first brought this error to light. The Army is just too ashamed to do the right thing and show that they have been wrong all along. A sad, sorry excuse that needs to come to a end.This commment is unpublished.· 7 years agoDoes anyone really think the choppers won't be shot at by the taliban because they have a Red Cross on them. The problem with a great deal of this countrys leadership is they play to the garbage of playing nice-nice so other, media and their superiors will think they are good people. Grow some nads and do whats right for the people fighting the war.This commment is unpublished.· 7 years ago"I don't think arming a medevac bird or taking a cross off a medevac bird will change whether or not we can get in and save our soldiers," Lt. Gen. John Campbell.
This commment is unpublished.· 7 years ago[quote name="gerald farrell"]Ther was no mention of the fact Air Force & Marines go armed without Red Cross markings. Was this an oversight or on purpose.[/quote]
Amen to that.
The problem with the news media, especially TV is that they're composed of really stupid people and they go out of their way to miss the point. The lead with the "Golden Hour" comment is a near-miss too. That is a statistical term much-hated by emergency trauma personnel because it implies that, as long as you get touchdown within in hour, then you're good. Arterial bleeding won't last for a "golden hour." The main emphasis needed to have been on time wasted - any amount of time wasted - waiting for an unnecessary "escort." The non-mention Pedro, sitting on the same tarmac, was a major miss.
On the bright side, they are helping to get the ball rolling, however inefficiently.
Why is the Army so often so institutionally stupid when there are so many outstanding soldiers? I don't get it.
Well, Sir, Since you don't think, and allot of us do think, it wouldn't hurt to try now would it.This commment is unpublished.· 7 years agoHad I not already read your article on the Pedros I'd have said the General made a good case. CBS needs to do a follow-up on those birds and crews and then compare.
This commment is unpublished.· 7 years agoTo be fair it's hard to know if he really meant that the good survival rate means the Army is doing it right, as implied by the story. CBS - especially "60 Minutes" - is notorious for how they edit.
This commment is unpublished.· 7 years agoSomething that network will never do. They'll keep quoting some Geneva Convention BS, then if they arm the birds, their left wing base will protest about how inhumane we are and then castigate our military like they have since Vietnam. Same old same old. Thanks again Michael for keeping this going!
This commment is unpublished.· 7 years agoMaybe, but I think my responsibility is to keep hammering them with requests to do it. I spent several hours last night writing every major network's national news and all their individual shows like Nightline, 60 Minutes. 20/20, plus Hannity and O'Reilly begging them to do it. Now that CBS has aired it, I'm hoping that their competitive spirits will cause them dive into this story just so they won't get left behind. And if they think the Army is the enemy they may do it out of spite. I don't care why they do it, I just want the truth known and the policy changed. I urge all to start contacting.
Having said that, the General simply asserted that taking the targets - I mean crosses - off the birds and arming them wouldn't help. There was no evidence supplied, nor any comparison with other services like the Pedros.
The argument about weight seems bogus: I'll bet most missions only pick up one or two wounded, as in this case.
Stay on 'em, Michael.This commment is unpublished.· 7 years agoA few questions come to mind.
-Are the helo's in theatre targeted more because they have a red cross?
-Does the enemy target them because they are assumed to be unarmed?
-Does the enemy assume unmarked helo's are armed?
-Does the enemy shoot at all helo's indiscriminately?
-Are armed escorts required to end an offensive mission immediately in order to attend to medevacs? What are the priorities?
-How many medevacs are in theatre?
-How many escorts are available at any given time for duty? Is that number classified?
-If the enemy is more reluctant to fire on unmarked helos of any type then why would a helo carry a red cross?
-Are single helos dispatched normally?
-Does the type of injury, say in this case a mine injury, change the vectored response from say a firefight injury?
Whenever we have an ambulance response we send an engine or two to guard the approaches to our scene and furnish more assistance.
This commment is unpublished.· 7 years agoThey don't call it the "golden hour" for nothing. The AF and MC know what they are doing. The fact that the Army has high survival stats in no way demonstrates that they would not be higher with armed medevacs.
This commment is unpublished.· 7 years ago[quote name="George N"]Whenever we have an ambulance response we send an engine or two to guard the approaches to our scene and furnish more assistance.[/quote]
How do you do that with a forest fire raging at the other end of town? Gotta love civilians sitting in armchairs!
Apparently, once you pass O-8, you have become a politician. If you ever were a soldier, that's gone now.
This commment is unpublished.· 7 years agoI know I've been out for a few years & I'm sure some things have changed, but whoever wrote that part about the chase aircraft being armed with .240 caliber door weapons??? I gotta ask, where did they find the, "Staff Pimp" that wrote that? That one little part tells me they let some guy that has never been around the US Army. Either that or the Marines & Air Force guys have been holding out on us, they have guns I've never heard of.This commment is unpublished.· 7 years agoask him how he would feel if it was his own child who lay wounded and how he would feel knowing that help only 5 minutes away had to wait for air support...This commment is unpublished.· 7 years agoThis is not choice between arming medevac helicopters or not. If our primary goal is to save our precious soldiers' lives, then we should have more Apaches in theatre.
This commment is unpublished.· 7 years ago[quote name="Captain once/EMT"]They don't call it the "golden hour" for nothing.
In fact, they do call it the golden hour for nothing. "Golden Hour" is a statistical term created initially by insurance companies and jumped upon by emergency service equipment vendors. The Army has unfortunately adopted it as a meaningless performance standard which, as proven by this particular case, costs lives. Each trauma is unique. An adequate response to mild cerebral edema is completely different from an adequate response time to multiple amputation. As Rapidly As Possible needs to be the standard. "Golden Hour" needs to be banned as a term of obfuscation.
Instead, this adminstration cares more about giving people pizza money each month via a temporary holiday in the payroll tax.
It's all about priorities. This soldier's death was preventable.This commment is unpublished.· 7 years agoThey endanger our men and women.
I am sick of politicians and bureaucrats in the armed services. They need to be retired in the coming cutbacks and replaced with warriors, plain, pure warriors, who are commonsense veterans of the past ten years of conflict.
I would say that this general is a pathetic excuse for a soldier, except that he does not deserve to be called a soldier.
A cubicle slimeball?
Disgusting.This commment is unpublished.· 7 years agoThe reporter gave gave the Army a pass. Either it was intentional or he was not doing his job. It's nice that they did a report. It just could have been so much better.This commment is unpublished.· 7 years agoIF hospital treatment could have saved this soldier's life then the delay in getting him there was a factor in his death. The Generals words are simply ridiculous.
I find it next to impossible now hard to understand how responsible people find it so easy to brazen distort reality as much as they do. Still its not them doing the dying, if it were perhaps the attitudes would be different.This commment is unpublished.· 7 years agoThe only thing that leads the military to this line of thinking can only be one thing. It is what it always comedown too, MONEY. There is a contractor some where making a lot of money with things the way they are. Someone needs to check into this aspect of the situation, deep and hard.This commment is unpublished.· 7 years ago60 minutes took a dive for the Army. Let's see the General and the Reporter lay there on a stretcher for 45 minutes then we'll see if they feel the current situation is adequate.This commment is unpublished.· 7 years agoLieutenant General John F. Campbell's comments, I believe, are heart felt and he believes, accurate. That does not change the apparent fact that this soldier died because of the delay. Why not have the best of both worlds? Have your traditional Red Cross medevac but have armed medevac ready in case of situations like these. OK, so then the Army could still use the Red Cross for all medevacs UNLESS they run into a situation like this and then they use the armed medevac. Sounds too simple but I'm sure it isn't. Anyway, Michael, keep up the good work and watch your back.
Brainstorming: Why not design a helicopter with the hearty design traits of the A-10 Warthog? Expensive? Challenging? The US has always valued the lives of our men and women who serve, it's worth the time, trouble and expense. Imagine the affect of a chopped designed specifically for armored medevac and what it might be capable of doing!This commment is unpublished.· 7 years agoI'm chocked,IT'S A LOT !This commment is unpublished.· 7 years agoWell now let's see, 92% chance...the highest of any war. This is true due to the great job everyone is doing, however, tell that to the yound soliders who fall into that 8%. Without a doubt the Army Command is not doing all they can do to expedite medevac in all cases. Of coure everyone can't be saved but if just one more life can be saved then whatever it takes to save that life should be done. Stop all this BS back and forth and get it done folks. If you need help in making a decision I am available to come to Washington and be KIng for a day and it will be done!This commment is unpublished.· 7 years agoLet's see--if the added weight of the additional crew is a problem, reducing the lifting capacity of the aircraft, and there are as many as four wounded waiting, why can't the extra crewmen jump out after landing and let the wounded replace them? They can be picked up at leisure by another helicopter.
Problem is, the Army doesn't want to admit it's made a bad choice, so it's sticking with a failed policy.
This commment is unpublished.· 7 years agoI may be way off on this but I think if we had a different POTUS things would be different in that Barry wants to cut the Military costs and arming MEDVAC adds cost.
This commment is unpublished.· 7 years ago[quote name="c. banks"]Let's see--if the added weight of the additional crew is a problem, reducing the lifting capacity of the aircraft, and there are as many as four wounded waiting, why can't the extra crewmen jump out after landing and let the wounded replace them? They can be picked up at leisure by another helicopter.
Problem is, the Army doesn't want to admit it's made a bad choice, so it's sticking with a failed policy.[/quote]
The Brass cant think that far out of the box...
This commment is unpublished.· 7 years agoJust another case of the Army not being able to adapt. As usual, the Army big wigs are still fighting the last war.
This commment is unpublished.· 7 years agoYou really don't understand the role of the President/C-in-C. Dou reaslly thibk he is aware of all decision making in government? Just like the war itself, he listens to his military's advice.
If the President were aware of this important detail - he would change things. As an attorney, he will want to review the law on this subject. The President cannot be aware of everything going on in his administration - the span of control is too great.
But, his generals should know that the only satisfactory percent of success is 100%. To me, it is ridiculous that there is no uniformity amongst the Services. That is why the JCS letter is so disappointing; there is zero concern that there is a difference amongst the Services, much less fellow NATO allies. The Army is saying, we are in--charge here and this is our mission. We will call upon other Service or country assets when we think we need them!
The fact is that the Chairman, JCS and the Commander,ISAF should be concerned that there is no uniformity among the Services. The Air Force SOP is what we should be following. Because their underlying mission is pilot SAR, they are prepared to fight their way in and fight their way out to retrieve a downed air crew. This philosophy reduces the number of aircraft going on a mission. I assume that the Air Force flies in pairs; but there are no other rotary wing aircraft required.That saves money! Doesn't any of this appeal to the brass?
The other aspect is what does it mean to be on strip alert. Obvious runs to their aircraft the moment they get fragged. With todays electronics, they can punch in the coordinates as they take off. They appear to figure-out their flight path on the run. Well, after a short time, they know their AO
Could it be that the Army's problem be that it is doctors and JAG officers who have made this inappropriate decision? Certainly, this protocol isn't satisfactory to Army pilots.
Those soldiers are fighting against people who have never heard of the Geneva Convention and if they had heard of it would think it foolish. They have never heard of the Red Cross. The "cross" is a hated symbol to them.
Wake up Army Brass.This commment is unpublished.· 7 years agoUnbelievable. I lost my nephew in the Kunar Province in September of last year. This really hits home. Even before this piece, I have prayed every day that my nephew did not have to go thru what this young man did. I am so outraged by this!! Extra weight is this mand excuse?? How about pulling the red cross, add the guns and send man extra chopper to recover our wounded! What differnce does this red cross make? It will be shot at either way! I cannot understand. Mr. Yon I have been reading your emails for the past year and praying that these so called generals would listen and learn. they are close minded.
Mr. Yon I thank you for what you are doing.This commment is unpublished.· 7 years agoI also watched the video on the news. The General answered in a typical managerial fashion. I think if there were any way to make him think it was his idea...he would be more forthcoming. I do think things will change now since this issue is beginning to get the recognition it deserves. CBS did not fully outline the issues in their video, either.This commment is unpublished.· 7 years agoI was an Army wife, and I wept with Mrs. Clark. She not only had to bear the pain of losing her husband, but also of knowing that he suffered and that he lost his life due to foolish policy. God comfort her.
I agree with those who have said that this general has become a politician. We know the Taliban will not respect the red cross, so take it off and arm the MEDEVAC helos. When our enemy fights with no holds barred, we must meet them on their terms.This commment is unpublished.· 7 years agoMaybe they should put the Red Crescent on our medevac birds???
Someone throw the BS flag on the General. If the AF Pedros and Marine medevacs can come in armed, so can the Army. Having spent time in an Army medevac unit in the 70's, with pilots who wouldn't fly into a hot LZ w/o an armed escort because they'd had their butts shot off in 'Nam, I think it's nothing short of dereliction of duty to leave things like they've been for decades. Arm 'em up, and let the medics kick some ass while saving lives.
This commment is unpublished.· 7 years agoWhat we need is pertinent data that will move this conversation out of the realm of anecdote, opinion and individual experiences, into something that can be unemotionally quantified. It was hard data, after all, that got the "Critical Hour" established as a fact that would then drive both the budgets, training and manning levels in the resonse units.
This commment is unpublished.· 7 years ago[quote name="Ric Walters"]Maybe they should put the Red Crescent on our medevac birds???
Someone throw the BS flag on the General. If the AF Pedros and Marine medevacs can come in armed, so can the Army. Having spent time in an Army medevac unit in the 70's, with pilots who wouldn't fly into a hot LZ w/o an armed escort because they'd had their butts shot off in 'Nam, I think it's nothing short of dereliction of duty to leave things like they've been for decades. Arm 'em up, and let the medics kick some ass while saving lives.[/quote]
That would make too much common sense.
A place to start is to quantify the experiences of USAF and Marine missions of similar type. How often, for instance, have USAF crews come under fire and how often have them had to respond with covering fire? How often were such counter-fire incidents deemed essential to the survival of the mission? How many USAF and USMC aircrews and their commanders would be willing to de-arm and paint red crosses on their aircraft? Why? Why not?
How do we quantify the impact of an enemy whose values do NOT include a certain code of honor concerning wounded combatants? The do not recognize or respect a Geneva Convention rules.This commment is unpublished.· 7 years agoI wonder if some of the "lost 235" were lost due to waiting on an armed escort for the Medevac. If the general knew that he'd lost just one of those 235 for that reason then he should also be fighting to remove the red crosses. But it's no secret in the Army that when you put the stars on the collar you become a politician or a politician's bitch. Then the primary objective is to get the 4th star before retirement.
Michael, I've been following your blogs since 05. Keep taking the fight to'em Brother because you've opened up a lot of eyes with this one and a lot of the big-wigs are starting to get nervous. Hmm, must be getting close to election time. Time for a CHANGE!This commment is unpublished.· 7 years agoSo how many of the other 235 men that were lost died due to stupidity as reflected by that general? He ought to be run out of the army!This commment is unpublished.· 7 years agoReminds of a line from a song from the movie "Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" sung by the Governor of Texas who is trying to avoid directly answering a question : "Oooh, I dance a little sidestep, now you see me now, now you don't....". The good General was trying to blow smoke up someone's skirt and ended up looking like the north end of a southbound mule.This commment is unpublished.· 7 years agoPosted on my Facebook wall, along with the link (hope my commentary is accurate!)
There is only ONE reason the Army still puts Red Crosses on MEDEVAC helicopters: choppers are in short supply in the Middle East, and birds with Red Crosses on them are the ONLY ones that cannot be reallocated. The Army cannot even figure out how to rewrite it's own rulebook on this one, and Chazray Clark died because of this outdated and dangerous policy. Additionally, our enemies are given explicit instructions to shoot at anything with a Red Cross on it. The Army is the ONLY branch of any military in the Middle East still putting crosses on their helos, thus keeping them unarmed and defenseless. This goes far beyond whether or not you believe we should be in the Middle East- this is our military being so FUBAR that it's own rules are killing our soldiers. Write your congressmen and demand a 21st Century policy. We owe it to all the Chazray Clarks serving our country.This commment is unpublished.· 7 years agoIt's not the General's words that are troubling, so much as the implication. I agree with him that arming MedEvac helos is probably not the best answer, and the survival rate is very good. Adding machine guns to MedEvacs doesn't provide a lot of firepower, adds weight and extra crewmembers, and complicates the unit's training and operations, which may result in more delays. An escort is all-around more efficient and effective . . . when it works.
But Mrs Clark is totally correct that the failure to provide timely MedEvac in this case is inexcusable; and LTG Campbell seems unconcerned over the failure of his system to execute properly. I hope those two sound bites weren't indicative of the entire interview. If they need more or dedicated escorts, get them. If they can't organize that, a couple door-mounted M60s beats hell out of nothing.This commment is unpublished.· 7 years agoIt was ridiculous. A fully armed Blackhawk with 12 people plus gear gets around perfectly well. To say that an armed Medevac helo would be too heavy is purely stupid.This commment is unpublished.· 7 years agoI don't think ANYONE is going to tell him what to do. Disappointing. My wife wept at the story and his reaction. She was an Air force brat, I was 23 years in the Army.This commment is unpublished.· 7 years agoThe enemy shoot at ALL helicopters, marked or not, if they have a chance to do so. In the case presented it is a night mission and the Helo would not be a clear target, just a moving shape. Red Cross would be indistnct at best so provides no factor. Need more dedicated Dust Off in country. Need a better crew ratio for them. Need at least a single Apache on 15 min standby AT the same launch postion as dedicated Dust Off. Gun's need to be on fitted to the Dust Off. You do not need 2 additional gunners so remove 400 pounds from GWT calculations, The Medic and Crew Chief gan provide fire support going in and the 2 minutes getting out IF needed, train'em up. Army need's to read or re-read Dust Off Ops in Vietnam. Then sit down at Rucker and formulate the correct mission plan for the Afghan Theater. Above the Best!This commment is unpublished.· 7 years agoto cry out "YOU LIE!"?This commment is unpublished.· 7 years agoBeing an Army Brat with a officer for father, and a Navy Veteran, the General didn't impress me with his stupidity. A simple solution would be to replace the Red Cross with a Red Star and Crescent and the wouldn't fire upon it then... ;-)This commment is unpublished.· 7 years agoWell general, you got 236 dead now. Pull your head out general. How can you be so stupid?This commment is unpublished.· 7 years agoI think the General is cold and heartless. Also the Army is just another BIG GOVERNMENT bureaucracy they defend rules that cost the very lives of soldiers and refuse to change the same.